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Search for bodies at Dozier School to continue

by John Kennedy | August 6th, 2013

Gov. Rick Scott and the Cabinet unanimously agreed Tuesday to allow University of South Florida scientists to continue working on the site of a closed reform school in Florida’s Panhandle, where many former students say the bodies of dozens of dead children may lie buried.

The move by Scott and the Cabinet cleared a hurdle created earlier in the year, when Secretary of State Ken Detzner said his office didn’t have the authority to approve the exhumation of human remains at the now-closed Arthur G. Dozier School for Boys in Marianna.

USF researchers have identified 50 possible graves at the school in an area dubbed Boot Hill. The rudimentary cemetary is in the black section of what had been a segregated reform school through most of the 1960s. Researchers also want to locate another graveyard where white boys were supposedly buried.

“There is no shame in searching for the truth,” said Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam, an early advocate for continuing the work at Dozier.

Several former students were in the audience Tuesday, including one man Leo Collier, 84, who is believed to be the oldest former resident of the school, which closed in 2011 after more than a century marked by tales of beatings, sexual abuse and neglect by staff.

Collier said he was sent to Dozier at age 12 for skipping school. “All I did was farm work” at Dozier, Collier said.

Another man, 68-year-old Don Stratton, a former truck driver from Gibsonton, said he ran away from home and was “dragged out of the woods and put in Sarasota County jail.”

After six months in county jail, the 13-year-old Stratton was sent to Dozier for three years. Beatings were administered at a shed called the White House.

“The boys they murdered were put in the ground, not even in boxes,” Stratton said. “You wouldn’t even bury your dog like that.”


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6 Responses to “Search for bodies at Dozier School to continue”

  1. Now We Deserve The Truth about the Green Isle Ranch as well Says:

    Anyone watching Tuesday’s Florida Cabinet meeting and the stirring outcome of the effort to lawfully exhume remains at the Dozier School for Boys who has been following the years of suppression of child abuse reports at the hands of the powerful would surly have been surprised.

    With Gov. Rick Scott presiding, the Cabinet gave its full permission and more (financial support) for a University of South Florida archaeology team to proceed with the exhumation of bodies in dozens upon dozens of unmarked graves on the reformatory’s Marianna site. (Also known as the White House Boys)

    Following years of cover ups and lies by law enforcement and more particularly the “white washed faked up investigations of the FDLE” yesterday the Florida Cabinet took the unprecedented step of authorizing the exhumation of the remains at the Dozier School for Boys (graves) formerly located by a University of South Florida archaeology team and authorized them to proceed with the exhumation of bodies in dozens upon dozens of unmarked graves on the reformatory’s Marianna site. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house, including among Cabinet members.

    Admittedly the pressure was on as former “Dozier boys” and their families, black and white, leaned on canes, pitched forward to hear every word and wiped away tears, “one by one the three Cabinet members unleashed moving speeches to show their support.” Gov. Scott did not!

    Attorney General Pam Bondi introduced Leo Collier, who at 84 is the oldest former resident of the school. Dozier closed in 2011, pocked with a lurid history over 100 years of beatings, sexual abuse and suspected murder. “We have an obligation to the families and to our history to treat these remains with the dignity and respect they deserve,” said Bondi!

    Adam Putnam, commissioner of agriculture and consumer services said, “There is no shame in searching for the truth. These families deserve to know where their loved ones are buried.”

    Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater pledged more financial support when the time comes. “We have the responsibility as trustees in time … we are accepting today with our vote, that wherever this takes us, we will need to provide additional (financial) support.”

    All of these very interesting comments from Attorney General Pam Bondi; Commissioner of Agriculture Adam Putnam said “There is no shame in searching for the truth”; Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater “we are accepting today with our vote, that wherever this takes us, we will need to provide additional (financial) support.”

    And Gov. Rick Scott presiding over Tuesday’s Florida Cabinet meeting said nothing we could hear “well he must have said something but apparently it was under his breath because no one heard it.” Did the cat get his tongue? Why didn’t he go on record like the other three and stand strong for these victims of “a lurid history of over 100 years of beatings, sexual abuse and suspected murder?” Because he presided over the cover ups of the Green Isle Crimes!

    The Governor of Florida presided over this meeting but apparently he lost control of the outcome. If he had got his way they would have” just made it go away.”

    Why didn’t Governor Scott the father of two girls jump right n there feet first and demand an open honest investigation in the Dozier School for Boys in 2011 when all these atrocities first come to light? After all he is the Governor of Florida he can order investigations by his FDLE anytime he wants too! He had them remove the Sheriff of Liberty County, Florida for exercising his constitutional rights!

    Remember when the Dozier School “beatings, sexual abuse and suspected murder” first come to enough light in 2011 to bring about the closing of the state reform school; Scott sent in his FDLE and they almost immediately come back with enough sand to cover it up. But, it kept resurfacing.

    In February of 2011 Governor Scott received a request to investigate as to why on November 21, 2009 when Sheriff Gary Borders Office received a 911 complaint of the rapes of five little boys ages 12-15 at the Green isle Boys Ranch where Gary Borders had been a founding board member at the time for over 20 years – the immediate report of which identified the child rapist Tyler Anthony Jackson by name – why then was this rapist not immediately arrested? Insiders at the LCSO said the sheriff had personally halted the investigation. Pictures of a flyer front page showing Sheriff Borders and some of his employees pictured with the rapist surfaced.

    In early February 2010 – Breaking news leaked by new house parents to all Orlando TV stations – demanding answers as to why nothing was ever done for these victims – wanting to help the victims of the brutal rapes of the boys and the facts that some of the boys who were still at Borders Green isle Boys Ranch had attempted suicide. Even that was covered up!

    As a result of these leaks Sheriff Borders and his friends in the judicial system solved the problem and set up a fake arrest, prosecution and sentencing of the Green isle rapist.

    Official government documents of the case are “top secret.” But other official reports and pictures that prove the rapist has remained free and at large since the report of the rapes of the five boys and; has in fact re-offended with yet more violence against others since that time.

    A 44-page summary outlining these facts and documents can be found on the internet.

    Researchers say at all times the Green Isle Boys Ranch was actually owned by the Don Brown Family who controls numbers of Florida Department of Corrections vendors under a number of names mostly under various Bridges of American corporations.

    So, if it appears Governor Rick Scott’s lack of support to get to the truth and comments in support of yesterday’s decision is something new, it is not. He had protected these abusers all along. Why? Well, maybe the answer to that could be found in who those “well connected men” with access to the boys at Green isle was.

    At any rate Scott was personally involved in covering up the cover up of Sheriff Gary Borders of the last five reported rapes at Borders Green Isle. At the very least Governor Scott is guilty of turning his head to the act of obstruction of justice by the Sheriff of Lake County.

    The locals around the old Green Isle Ranch have claimed for years to have heard about boys being taken by well connected men to Lake Louisa State Park’s cabins on Lake Dixie. Some locals have also wondered for years if their might be victims of the years of sexual abuse buried somewhere on the old Green isle property. Who knows? They have been able to cover up decades of violent sexual abuse of little boys – they can cover up anything else, right?

    Just like yesterday’s long awaited decision to exercise the power to proceed “in searching for the truth” until enough people put enough pressure on Governor Rick Scott, the Florida Cabinet and the State Legislature – the horror’s of “a lurid history of a multitude of over 20 years of child sexual abuse and other suspected God only knows what else events” the people who care will continue searching for the truth” at the Green isle Ranch until they get to the bottom of it.!

  2. All victims Deserve the Truth Be told Says:

    Victims of Green isle Boys Ranch Rapes deserve a true investigation into the crimes committed against them being covered up as well.

  3. Mike Hunt Says:

    @ Now We Deserve The Truth

    You have no idea what you speak of! All your rambling statement did was trigger some memories of my childhood. Some pleasant, some not so pleasant, and some were va-va-voom pleasant. I can hear my “uncle” now reminding me not to push back too much, buying my silence with tasty mcnuggets (only way I could get his taste out of my mouth), and playing the family favorite game of “Hide The Treasure” in the bathroom. Ahhh memories. Now if you will escuse me, I must go self-felatiate and then cry myself to sleep.

  4. Mike All victims deserve compensation and the truth Says:

    The truth is just about every family has or has had that funny uncle that no one wanted to be around the kids. He was always the one that came with gifts in hand and stuff.

    If he is still alive here in Florida and the crimes were committed here in Florida there is no longer a statute of limitations on sex with children.

    For all of the victims who were abused at facilities owned, operated and or controlled by a government agency the victims can still bring civil lawsuits against their abusers and all of those who were responsible for the safe care of the victims at the time of the crimes.

    As with the case of the Green Isle Boys Ranch rapes that occurred between 1989 and 2009 the facility was run by the Sheriff of Lake county and a non-profit called Bridges of America. Those victims can sue the Sheriff, the county and the facility even though it is now closed the insurance carrier at the time of the sexual abuse is still liable as well.

    We highly suggest all child victims of sex abuse contact these best attorney in the USA for these suits

    He has a huge firm that hanbles these cases all over the country.

    No matter what no person who was a victim of sex abuse as a child should ever give up bringing closure to their persoanl tragedy. If it takes collecting a few million bucks from those who abused you and those who turned their heads while they don it, SO BE IT. We are pushing all the cuits we can right now and victims are coming forward to file their claims.

  5. yea he did Says:

    This honorable man filed a complaint with the greeatest law enforcement agency in the world and now they lie and deny. What’s the USA coming too?

  6. Mike Hunt Says:

    @ All Victims…..

    Your post makes just as much sense as my “uncle’s” excuse he gave my parents for why I was having lower GI problems. Now don’t get me wrong, childhood ain’t no picnic, (as a matter of fact it all started at a family picnic come to think of it) but I wouldn’t have had it any other way. Well maybe just once, but that was because anyones legs would get a cramp in the backseat of an AMC Pacer. I will however leave you with this…mcnuggets do make the pain go away. Namaste.

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